AP sends clumsily worded tweet about MH17 victims, world reacts

No, the plane didn't crash.

"This was an especially regrettable lapse that drew wide attention as Dutch families awaited the return of their loved ones’ remains," AP spokesperson Paul Colford writes in a blog post.

I looked through the AP Stylebook for guidance on compound verbs (i.e., "crash-lands" as opposed to "crash lands") and came up empty. I'd hyphenate that verb if that was the intended meaning, but the book advises "the fewer hyphens the better; use them only when not using them causes confusion." It does advise against using "awkward constructions that split infinitive forms of a verb...or compound forms."

A lot of Twitter hounds suggested a comma (e.g.); that would have split the subject from the verb and been incorrect instead of easy to misread.

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  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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